Standing with the Jewish Community in Bulgaria

With November bringing memories of the hatred unleashed in Europe by the Nazis 74 years ago on Kristallnacht, members of the Jewish community in Sofia, Bulgaria came together with other volunteers last Sunday to remove swastikas and other symbols of hate from the walls of various buildings in this capital city.

Both the city’s mayor and Israel’s ambassador to Bulgaria took part in this “Let’s Clean Hate” campaign, which gained the attention of JTA earlier this week.

The enterprise was organized by the Etnopalitra Foundation in partnership with JDC and other local groups, including Shalom, the Jewish community’s social welfare and cultural organization.

In a nation still feeling the effects of the global financial downturn and ongoing economic turmoil, JDC has been working with Shalom to help it address increased welfare needs, combat unemployment, and continue to promote Jewish community development.

Amid the challenges of recent years, the community has achieved a number of joyful milestones, including the inauguration two years ago of the first Jewish preschool to open its doors in Sofia in over 50 years. JDC has also helped it expand camping programs and other activities for youth and young families, and organize pluralistic learning opportunities for people eager to deepen their connection to Jewish life.

To learn more about JDC’s work in Bulgaria, visit: http://www.jdc.org/where-we-work/europe/bulgaria.html.

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